Before we jump into the facts about alcoholism, let’s first define what it means. Also known as Alcohol Use Disorder, alcoholism is characterized by uncontrolled drinking due to a physical and emotional dependence on alcohol and a preoccupation with alcohol. Alcohol is the most abused drug in the United States and affects more than 27 million individuals. Although most people have heard of alcoholism, there is a huge amount of information that people don’t know. Below are 7 of our 15 facts about alcoholism.
Alcohol is the most highly abused drug in the United States. According to a 2019 study by the National Institutes of Health, more than 14.5 million individuals ages 12 and older have been diagnosed with AUD (Alcohol Use Disorder). Roughly 7.2 percent of the group mentioned above received treatment. If you are struggling, you are certainly not alone and help is available.
The number of men with an alcohol use disorder is even higher, at 9 million men compared to 5.5 million women. One theory as to why it is that men find drinking to be more pleasurable is due to higher amounts of dopamine released in their brains. However, more current studies have found the gap between men and women is slowly becoming smaller.
If you have a parent or sibling struggling with alcoholism you are four times more at risk of developing alcoholism than individuals without this family history. Geneticists believe that genes from parents who struggle with alcoholism are passed down to their children. However, fewer than half of people actually developed AUD. The debate is still ongoing about whether the genetic makeup or environment of a person triggers alcohol abuse.
According to a 2014 study by the World Health Organization, alcohol misuse was the first leading risk factor in premature deaths around the world and contributed to 21.3 percent of death caused by diseases such as liver cirrhosis, cardiovascular diseases, tuberculosis, pancreatitis, and HIV/AIDS.
Binge drinking is defined as a pattern of drinking that brings up a person’s blood concentration (BAC) to 0.08. An example of a binge drinking event could be a night out with friends or a celebratory dinner. Chronic Binge Drinking does not always mean that someone has an Alcohol Use Disorder but talking about these behaviors early on may be extremely helpful in helping yourself or a loved one win in the fight against alcohol addiction.
24 million Americans 18 years and older make up the top 10 percent of people who drink more than 50 percent of all alcohol. In order to be part of the top 10 percent, a person would have to drink two bottles of wine with every dinner or 74 alcoholic drinks per week. There is no denying that the more alcohol you drink the more health problems you may face such as alcohol poisoning. If you notice that you or someone close to you may be drinking in excess there are recourses that can help.
People don’t have one drink and suddenly become alcoholics. Dependence develops over time. Eventually, the more someone drinks the more their bodies depend on the alcohol leading to addiction and more severe health problems and loss of control.
Alcohol Use Disorder is a difficult disease that affects millions of Americans. But this is hope for those struggling. Soberlink can offer hope to those struggling and their families. With an accountability tool like Soberlink, there is no stress of random testing or family members questioning sobriety. Soberlink provides real test results proving those who use it are on their way to recovery.